Do you often wake up with a stiff neck or burning aches in your shoulder? Are you struggling to fall asleep daily because your pillow isn't providing the support your body needs? This blog post will dive deep into the world of pillows to help you figure out how to choose the right pillow for your needs. From understanding different materials and shapes to exploring helpful tips on choosing the right pillow — this guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need before making a purchase.
How do you choose a pillow that's right for you?
Selecting the perfect pillow comes down to your individual preferences, like the sleeping position you prefer, the fill it has (in case you have allergies), how soft or firm the pillow is and which parts of your body need the most support. A pillow that provides the proper support helps ensure that your head, neck and spine stay aligned — essential for optimal postural health and uninterrupted sleep. Let's make your search easier by narrowing down several ways to choose a pillow to rest comfortably for days, weeks and years.
How to choose a pillow based on the fill material
A good starting point is to determine which type of filling you'd prefer since this plays a significant role in comfort, heat absorption and support.
- Memory foam pillows are made of polyurethane and other materials that increase viscosity and density, making them react well to your body's heat and pressure. Incredibly responsive, it will adjust its shape to fit the contours of your body and help alleviate pressure on your joints.
- Down pillows are made from the undercoat of birds like ducks, providing an extremely luxurious setting to rest on. They are also durable enough to last for years. However, over time, their filling can become compact and require you to replace it.
- Feather pillows offer excellent cushioning, durability and flexibility, though they need to be fluffed regularly to maintain their shape and comfort. Although similar to down, they're firmer, don't compact as easily and hold heat well to keep you cool during warm nights.
- Polyester pillows look nearly identical to cotton, making them a popular and affordable choice for many households. Though it's inexpensive, those with allergies should think twice before choosing them.
- Latex pillows are soft to the touch and have good heat and moisture dissipation. They are biodegradable and flame retardant while providing strong mould resistance against dust mites or bed bugs, making them an excellent choice for people with allergies.
- Buckwheat pillows are filled with dry seeds that give them a super firm shape. They fit around your head and neck in cosy comfort. This fill keeps you cool while you sleep, making them great for the summer or sleepers who tend to get hot or sweaty at night.
Aside from selecting a pillow filled with wool, cotton, memory foam or latex, you should consider choosing the right pillow that matches your regular sleeping position to ensure a healthy and restorative sleep.
Choosing a pillow based on your sleeping position
When choosing a pillow, it's essential to consider your sleeping position, as different positions may require different levels of support and comfort. Here's how to choose a pillow based on your sleeping position:
- Side sleeping — If you sleep on your side, you'll want a thicker and firmer pillow to support your neck and head. Look for a pillow with a high loft that will keep your spine aligned and prevent neck pain. Memory foam or latex pillows work well for side sleepers.
- Back sleeping — If you sleep on your back, you'll want a medium-firm pillow that provides enough support to keep your neck and head aligned. Look for a pillow that is not too high but provides enough lift to keep your airways open. A pillow made of down or feather can work well for back sleepers.
- Stomach sleeping — If you sleep on your stomach, you'll want a thin and flat pillow, or you may not want a pillow at all. Stomach sleepers tend to put a lot of pressure on their neck and spine, so avoiding too thick or high pillows is best.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a pillow is to try out different types and find the one that feels the most comfortable and supportive. Finding the right pillow may take some time, but it will be worth it in the long run for a better night's sleep.
The different types of pillows available
Depending on your preferences and particular anatomy, different pillow shapes may be better suited for you.
- Standard regular pillow — Also known as the bed pillow, rectangular pillows are the most common type that comes in a range of thicknesses and firmnesses and are versatile for all sleeping positions.
- Contour pillows — They have a curved shape designed to support the neck and head, providing better alignment for side and back sleepers. They often have a high loft in the centre and a lower loft on the sides, which helps keep the neck and spine aligned.
- Body pillows — Long, cylindrical pillows to support various body parts while sleeping. They can be helpful for side sleepers, providing extra support for the hips, knees, and abdomen. For pregnant women, they can help support the growing belly and provide comfort. Although they come in the "C" and "U" shapes, L-shaped pillows are the most common type that runs down almost the length of your body — cradling you as you snuggle up in bed with it.
These are just some of the many types of pillows available. Which pillow you choose will depend on your sleeping position and specific needs.
Choosing a pillow based on particular needs
A "normal" pillow may not do the trick for those with special needs. Consider exploring specialty pillows to provide specific support:
- Positional pillow — Designed to reduce pain from certain sleeping positions, such as side sleeping or back sleeping. They come in a curved or wedge shape that promotes proper spinal alignment and reduces pressure points. For example, a wedge-shaped pillow can elevate the upper body for those with acid reflux, while a knee pillow can keep the legs separated for side sleepers.
- Cervical pillows — These are designed to provide extra neck support and promote spinal alignment. They often have a unique shape, such as a trapezoidal design, that provides cradling support for the neck and head, reducing the risk of neck pain and stiffness.
- Anti-snore pillows — Made to alleviate snoring habits by promoting proper head and neck positioning, they can have a contoured shape that keeps the airways open and reduces the risk of snoring by keeping the head and neck in a neutral position.
- Cool pillows — Designed to keep you more comfortable during hot weather by regulating temperature. They can be made with gel-infused foam or bamboo, which help absorb and dissipate heat, providing a cooler sleeping surface.
These specialised pillows can provide support and comfort and help alleviate issues such as neck pain, snoring and overheating. However, it's essential to keep in mind that individual results may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Buy the pillow you need today to get a good night's sleep
Spending every night with the right pillow makes all the difference in your sleep. Our full range of pillows by Australia-based brands is designed to meet your whole family’s needs, whether it be contour, side sleeper or cooling technology pillows. With our premium quality products and this guide on choosing the right pillow for you, sleeping in comfort just got a whole lot easier — from mattress toppers to sheet sets and bedding accessories — we stock and blog all things sleep.
We offer free shipping nationwide and a money-back guarantee. For any questions or queries regarding our range of pillows, contact us, and we'll help you.
So don't wait — buy the pillow you need today to get a good night's sleep!